Spectrum of surgical trauma and associated head injuries at a university hospital in eastern Nepal

J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2010 Jan;1(1):2-8. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.63092.


Background: Trauma is one of the common surgical emergencies presenting at B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Nepal, a tertiary referral center catering to the needs of the population of Eastern Nepal and nearby districts of India.

Objective: The objective of this study is to analyze the magnitude, epidemiological, clinical profile and outcome of trauma at B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences.

Materials and methods: This descriptive case series study includes all patients with history of trauma coming to BPKIHS emergency and referred to the surgery department. We noted the detailed clinical history and examination, demographics, mechanism of injury, nature of injury, time of reporting in emergency, treatment offered (operative or non operative management) and analyzed details of operative procedure (i.e. laparotomy, thoracotomy, craniotomy etc.), average length of hospital stay, morbidity and outcome (according to Glasgow outcome scale). Collected data were analyzed using EpiInfo 2000 statistical software.

Results: There were 1848 patients eligible to be included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 28.9 ± 19.3 years. Majority of the patients (38%) belonged to the age group of 21 - 40 years and the male to female ratio was 2.7:1. Most of the trauma victims were students (30%) followed by laborers (27%) and farmers (22%) respectively. The commonest causes of injury were fall from height (39%), road traffic accident (38%) and physical assault (18%); 78% of the patients were managed conservatively and 22% underwent operative management. Postoperative complications were seen in 18%. Wound infection 7.5%, neurological deficit including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) otrorrhea was seen in 2.2% patients. Good recovery was seen in 84%, moderate disability in 5.2% patients and severe disability in 1.4% patients. The mortally was 6.3% and most of the deaths were related to traumatic brain injuries.

Conclusions: In Nepal, trauma-related injury contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality and is the third leading cause of death. There are very few studies on trauma from this country and hence this study will help in understanding the etiology and outcome particularly in the Eastern region of Nepal.

Keywords: Craniotomy; laparatomy; trauma.